Party of the Year: The 20th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 21 - 2014

Diana RosBy: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Arguably the best party of the year, the 20th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, an elegant “Oz Reimagined”-themed gala, took place on Saturday, November 1, welcoming nearly 1,000 guests, who gathered to dine, dance and donate to one of the worthiest causes: the Make-A-Wish foundation. The highlight of the glamorous celebration, was a thrilling concert by the “Queen of Motown,” Diana Ross- the most outstanding performance we’ve seen at a party since Donna Summer performed at Destination Fashion in 2007 (this writer’s first official social column for The SunPost). Ross, dazzling in a red, bejeweled halter pantsuit, wrapped in red organza, entered the stage singing “I’m Coming Out” and had guests enthralled as she performed other chart-topping hits such as,”Baby Love,” “Upside Down,” “Do You Know,” “Stop-in the Name of and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” And while Ross’ performance was the crown jewel of the Ball, there was plenty of glittery goodness leading up to the concert. From the gold carpet, to the cocktail reception filled with culinary delights created by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Alexander Feher, including seafood served on an ice bar shaped like the trees from OZ, to the premier items at the Ball’s silent auction, and special appearances by Dorothy and her crew, the Wicked Witch and Glenda and the “Voice of Oz” that summoned revelers to the Main Ballroom for dinner- the night was filled with the enchantment we’ve come to expect from the unparalleled Make A Wish Ball. Inside the Ballroom, guests were captivated by both the splendor of the room’s white-on-white decor and the beauty and wit of Gabrielle Anwar, who returned for the fourth consecutive year as Celebrity Emcee and Auctioneer. In what has become a Ball tradition, Gabrielle and fiancé,  Ball Chair, Shareef Malnik opened the night’s festivities with a creative dramatic moment. This year’s involved Gabrielle engaged in steamy dialogue with a faceless “Oz” – actually the voice of  Shareef — who eventually revealed himself, emerging from underneath the voluminous skirt of Gabrielle’s emerald green ball gown, eliciting a roar of laughter from the room and setting the stage for the more serious task of raising money for Wishes. A touching moment came courtesy of South Florida Wish recipient Nicole Graziano, who sang a touching rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Capponi’s Jacmel Carnaval Birthday Extravaganza

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On May - 17 - 2012

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Over 1000 guests flew in from all over the globe for nightlife impresario/ philanthropist/entrepreneur (Swiss Army Knife) Michael Capponi’s 40th birthday party benefit at Capitale in New York City on May 4- a veritable who’s who of the city’s top nightlife heavyweights, models, celebrities and promoters.  No stranger to extravagant birthday bashes, Capponi has celebrated past birthdays in a tree-house mansion in Nygard Cay; aboard a pirate ship at the now defunct Jimbo’s; and in an airplane hangar at Opa Locka airport to name a few.  We had no doubt that Capponi would pull out all the stops for his latest milestone, which, as expected, would require an airplane ride.

This year’s Jacmel Carnaval themed event shone a spotlight on Capponi’s progress in providing quality education, diverse vocational training, industry development and job creation in Haiti throughout his 60 trips to the island nation since the devastating earthquake in January 2010. Capponi created the Haiti Empowerment Mission, to which Capponi’s guests donated a whopping $120, 000.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bianca’s Grand Opening at the Delano Hotel

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 3 - 2012

by: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Seeing the Light:  Bianca the Delano

On Thursday night, the highly anticipated Italian restaurant, Bianca opened at the Delano Hotel to the delight of over a thousand guests who made their way across the eternal lobby into the restaurant and braved the limestone along the pool for the indoor/outdoor celebration.

While celebrities and VIPs dined inside the restaurant and on the terrace, partygoers enjoyed bites, libations and musical performances by Chris Botti and Little Louie Vega, (strange bedfellows indeed) out by the pool.  Vega’s dance tunes were abruptly halted by Botti’s intoxicating trumpet, which was accompanied by a gorgeous violinist who played in the pool, yes, IN the pool.  The music was captivating, especially when Botti played the theme from Cinema Paradiso, one of our favorite movies of all time.  The performance brought on a melancholy mood which was quickly interrupted by the site of a group of drunken models traipsing through the pool- there are just certain elements of this iconic hotel that will never change.  After which, Little Louie Vega took over again and was joined by Michelle Rodriguez for his second live set. Read the rest of this entry »

Tricks and Treats

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 7 - 2011
Oh Jack Ambassadors - HIGHBAR at the Dream South Beach

Oh Jack Ambassadors

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

While the biggest frights this Halloween weekend came courtesy of the weather, enthusiastic partygoers braved gale force winds, torrential downpours, lighting and floods to get their spook on.  Some of the best parties included the Heroes and Villains bash at Soho Beach House, the “Oh Jack”Jack the Ripper-themed Halloween party at Highbar at Dream South Beach, the Little Lighthouse Foundation’s “Nightmare Above Lincoln Road” at the garage at 1111 Lincoln Road and Michael Capponi and the Opium Group’s Angels and Demons party in a mansion on Pine Tree Drive.  But, regardless of the party’s theme, Halloween means one thing on South Beach- “Go naked!” (and accessorize)- Making for lots of treats and tricks on this hallowed weekend.  So, in the spirit of all of the ghoulish fun, enjoy the photos of the Cheap Tricks, Eye Treats, and Freaks- who came out at night- in droves.



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Make a Wish Ball-Intercontinental Miami

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 14 - 2010


Make a Wish Ball-Miami Socialholic



Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On December - 21 - 2009

marc_anthony_jennifer_lopez__ridingersArt! It’s the first word and what it’s all about right? Well, mostly…! In addition to works by Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Botero, Calder and Warhol, all under one roof at the Convention Center, stand outs during Art Basel week included: Calix Gustav Gallery which held several receptions celebrating the unveiling of Grit: to endure a trying situation and continue on without complaint and “Monitoring Art;” urban impressionist Miguel Paredes’ “The Manifestation of Crossover Art” at a pop-up gallery on Lincoln Road; Carlos Betancourt’s “Lapidus Infinitus” at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts; David LaChapelle’s “Cars and Money;” Kenny Scharf’s “Art White Collection” and William S. Chewning’s exhibition at Miami Art Group Gallery. Read the rest of this entry »